PopMatters Seeks Music Critics and Essayists: If you're a smart, historically-minded music critic or essayist, let your voice be heard by our quality readership.
PopMatters Seeks Music Critics and Essayists: If you're a smart, historically-minded music critic or essayist, let your voice be heard by our quality readership.
APPLY HERE APPLY HERE
APPLY HERE APPLY HERE
PopMatters Picks Playlist

PM Picks the Best New Songs: Butterfly Ali, Elina, W.H. Lung

The PM Picks playlist features the best new songs. Today, we feature Butterfly Ali, Elina, W.H. Lung, Reliant Tom, and Luna Morgenstern.

Hear all of this music on the PM Picks Spotify playlist.

Butterfly Ali – “Ain’t Ready For Me”

Butterfly Ali

Butterfly Ali‘s recent single “Testimony” blew our socks off, as it featured a hot take on upbeat soul music blended with gospel elements that had us singing to the heavens. Butterfly Ali is really that good. While he uses elements of traditional soul, his music is so full of vibrancy, passion, and positivity that he creates a thoroughly modern sound. Ali is releasing his new EP, Preacher’s Child, today along with the new single, “Ain’t Ready for Me”. In between those tracks, Ali shared “Truth Is”, a mellower, slow-burn number that shows him to be at ease in a range of R&B styles.

“Ain’t Ready for Me” brings back the upbeat vibes of “Testimony” back to the forefront on this explosive track. Horn-laden and deeply groovy, Ali makes a banger that will thrill live audiences everywhere. Expect lots of shaking your booty. With songs this strong and a scream that recalls Wilson Pickett at his best, Butterfly Ali is headed for the big time.

Ali says, “‘Ain’t Ready For Me’ is a feel-good, any time of the year, song. I wanted to write this song as a reminder to everyone and myself that we have a lot to offer. It’s self-motivation to keep shining despite hate. If you feel like an outcast or different than the people around you, it’s a lot of the time, not you. They’re just ‘not ready’ for all that you are, and you just need to keep being the best you, you know how to be, and let them catch up. We can’t lower our greatness just to ‘fit in’. The world will catch up eventually.”


Elina – “Love Come Around”

Elina

Swedish indie-folk artist Elina releases a song of personal empowerment via her new single, “Love Come Around”. Elina doesn’t quite know how to make sense of how she feels in the quest for love. There are so many obstacles to finding true love, but she perseveres and makes a warm and empathetic song about the journey. The song also addresses the sense of isolation from the pandemic and the everyday struggles we all face to reach a better place. Elina grew up in a small town deep in the vast forests of Scandinavia and that massive landscape informs her soaring music as well as the calm, gentle tones of the song.

“Since the pandemic broke out, a lot of thoughts have come to me, and it has felt more important than ever to stop our constant chasing and reflect on what is actually valuable to us as individuals. I wanted to dedicate something to all the people who get up in the morning and fight on, despite the injustices, difficulties, challenges, and inner fights we have to face. I hope it can help someone feel a little less alone in this chaotic world”, says Elina.


W.H. Lung – “Pearl in the Palm”

British electro band W.H. Lung are heavily indebted to the sounds of Madchester, that Manchester-born sound that blends guitars and dance beats into mesmerizing swirls of psychedelia. But that’s not all. You’ll hear echoes of krautrock, electrofunk, and post-punk in their latest single, “Pearl in the Palm”, as well. W.H. Lung draw from a diverse set of influences, including the dance-punk of LCD Soundsystem, while creating something uniquely their own. “Pearl in the Palm” is a powerful statement of purpose as the song builds intensity throughout and keeps the song beats pounding their way forward. It’s thrilling music.

“The song is exploring relationships, the stakes of relationships, and how that defines the individual. You can find yourself in a balloon if you’re willing to let that happen. Just like you can find yourself in another person. And you’ve got to go away to come back,” says the group’s Joe Evans. Their new album Vanities releases on 3 September.


Reliant Tom – “When We Were Young”

Reliant Tom

Reliant Tom‘s latest single is a nostalgic affair ruminating on “When We Were Young”. The Brooklyn-based electronic rock band blend synths, guitar, Afrorock rhythms to create a tune reflecting on the things they miss from past years. The style is wistful and dreamy, as any good nostalgic song should be. The minimalist approach is perfect here and allows Claire Cuny’s delightful, charming voice to take center stage.


Luna Morgenstern – “Done”

Luna Morgenstern

German alt-popster Luna Morgenstern asserts her personal freedom as a young person on the electropoppy “Done”. Morgenstern refuses to let the male gaze define her. She’s her own woman and she’s “ready to take it on” and she’s just plain “done” with trying to accommodate mens’ wishes and desires. “Done” sports a killer hook on the chorus and bubbly beats that are utterly perfect for the song. Morgenstern possesses a strong and melodic voice displays a deep expressiveness. She’s also got a sense for the perfect pop hook.

FROM THE POPMATTERS ARCHIVES
PopMatters